The woman taking on Duterte in a press freedom fight in the Philippines

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen/theguardian.com – The warning signs were all there. But Maria Ressa says “I never saw it coming.”

The founder and driving force behind the Philippines news organisation Rappler admits to surprise when President Rodrigo Duterte effectively declared war on her journalists and heralded with it the biggest threat to freedom of the press the country has seen in decades.

Rappler has only been in existence since 2012, beginning as an online news start-up with 12 reporters, established by Ressa, a former CNN Bureau chief. But over the past two months this small yet bullish group has been at the forefront of a battle against eroding press freedom in the Philippines. Duterte’s spokesperson – in language eerily evocative of Donald Trump’s White House – declared that “not only is Rappler’s news fake, it being Filipino is also fake.”

It is an assault which began in January when their license was revoked and has quickly intensified as the year has gone on, with Rappler’s political correspondent barred from the Presidential palace for briefings. Then, last week, the government announced they were investigating Rappler for evading $2.5m of tax – a complaint Ressa called “ludicrous”.

Ressa is now in a highly politicised David and Goliath fight for the survival of Rappler, which has reached the Supreme Court.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: News

  • CHED to hold order removing Filipino as required college subject
  • Filipino musical ‘Marco Polo’ ends successful preview run in Berlin
  • Balangiga bells expected to begin journey to the Philippines after Nov. 14
  • Duterte signs Filipino Sign Language into law
  • Philippine Airlines Flight attendant feeds hungry infant mid-flight after mother runs out of formula
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • Filipino musical ‘Marco Polo’ ends successful preview run in Berlin
  • Pinoy graphic novel ‘Trese’ coming to Netflix
  • Singer Rico Puno dead at 65
  • Filipino singer Marcelito Pomoy to guest on Ellen Show
  • Cassette Store Day debuts in Philippines on October 13
  • MORE...

    Features

  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • El Nido to impose daily visitor limits in 3 iconic tourist sites
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • Asian Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz receives Air Force promotion
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces